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Mia Smith – GrapeHub Foundation

GrapeHub Foundation pays its school fees

Ten years ago, South Africans set up a grape import company in The Netherlands with the goal of ensuring sustainable prices back on South African farms while simultaneously aiming to put together a tight twelve month calendar without gaps for European clients.

The campaign starts with Peru and Brazil grapes, followed by South African grapes that finishes towards the end of April, and is carried forward from Chile, India followed by Egypt in June.

Early South African lemons are already marketed to European clients, but the majority of South African citrus segues neatly into gap left after grapes.

Avocados and blueberries have since been added to GrapeHub's portfolio.

Fynbos Academy
GrapeHub established their South African office in 2021 and their attention to sustainability in the fruit trade came full circle two years ago with the establishment of the GrapeHub Foundation, a not for profit organization.

The need in rural areas back home is so large, that it's sometimes difficult to know where to start, but when a farm school in Stanford, Western Cape crossed their path, they immediately knew this was where the GrapeHub Foundation could gainfully contribute.

The Fynbos Academy, on Langverwacht Farm where fynbos flowers are grown for exports to The Netherlands, was founded as a daycare centre by Koos and Joanie Smith who have overseen its transition to become a fully-fledged government school, offering this year the entire primary school spectrum from grades RR to 7.

The school cannot rely on learner fees – in some households, children receive their only meals at school – to supplement government funding for four months of the year. The GrapeHub Foundation stepped in to financially assure the school's future.

"The vision of the GrapeHub Foundation is equipping through education, nourishing with food and sheltering in housing, and through the Fynbos Academy we're able to start addressing the large need that exists in rural communities," she says.

The GrapeHub Foundation ensures that these rural learners receive a quality education

Three buses do the rounds through coastal communities in Gansbaai, Baardskeerdersbos and Stanford to take a total of 69 pupils to the Afrikaans-medium school of small class cohorts and rich resources. School personnel are drawn from the same area.

The school provides breakfast and lunch; the Rotary Club in Standford donates fresh vegetables to the school for that purpose.

"At the GrapeHub Foundation we also want to look at the issues of housing and food security, and eventually the vision would be to extend our work to other countries. At the moment, the need in South Africa and Africa is so large and our projects will focus here to follow our mission of showing kindness to people in need."

For more information:
Mia Smith
GrapeHub Foundation
Tel: +27 210 201 490
Email: [email protected]